Friday, November 28, 2014

First sip: Cha Life

It's instant milk tea from a company named SFI-Multimix.

Is it good? No! It tastes like Nestea iced tea with Nido or Anchor milk. Yuck! Plus, it's too sweet! The sugary taste is really pronounced, almost cringe-inducing.

We say skip this one. Just go to Serenitea for delicious milk tea.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Criss Cut Crunchers

New treats from Wendy's!

Crisscut fries that come in two variants: Cheese & Cheese, and Bacon & BBQ.

The fries themselves are delicious; they are fried and seasoned well. The cheese sauce of the Cheese & Cheese is creamy and flavorful; it is not overly salty and has a good-enough cheese taste. The variant though would be better if the grated cheese were of better quality.

The barbecue sauce of the Bacon & BBQ variant is too tangy. The bacon bits are too salty to be partnered with the fries.

Also, we think that for Php 55 an order, we should get more fries.

Try it and judge for yourself.

The New & Improved Chicken McDo

The famous fast food chain presents a better version of their fried chicken: the New & Improved Chicken McDo. McDonalds claims that this fried chicken is juicier and more delicious.

Is it true?

Well, the juicy part, no. The meat is dry. Is it more delicious? Yes; it tastes better than the previous version. The skin is well seasoned and crispy. In fact, its flavor is slightly reminiscent of Chicken Joy. But compared to Jollibee's famous chicken, the New and Improved Chicken McDo still pales in comparison.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

First bite at Chelsea Kitchen

Place: The restaurant is open, basking in the sunlight coming from the glass walls and windows of Mega Fashion Hall, as well as the lights of the mall itself. The furnishings are fun and sturdy. The kitchen is organized and neat.

Food: Generally, delicious. We ordered quite a number of dishes and we were, all in all, satisfied.

First was the Pumpkin Soup (Php 120). It was vibrant and appetizing to the eyes. It was creamy and sweet. It wasn't bad, but a little hint of saltiness (bacon?) would've made the soup a winner.

Next, the Chicken Salad (Php 250): a mix of cabbage, carrots, cilantro, shredded chicken, and cashew, served with two dressings, one lemony, the other, peanut-based. This one's OK. All the ingredients were fresh, especially the crisp vegetables. The lemon-flavored dressing was for those who wanted their salad light to the palate. The peanut-based had a deeper, slightly heavier taste.

Next, Mushroom Chicharon (Php 195): deep fried oyster mushrooms served with vinegar and a basil cream dip. We fell in love with this one! Each mushroom morsel was well seasoned, woodsy, delicious! And with the dips! YUMMY! We loved it so much that we had it with the equally delicious and not-so-oily Herb Rice Pillaf (Php 80).

Then, the pasta dishes.

First off, the Truffled Pasta with Bacon (Php 320): al dente noodles, with truffle cream sauce and bacon cubes. It's basically carbonara with hints of truffle. Tasty, the flavor was punctuated. Good thing that the truffle taste wasn't overpowering.

Then, the Seafood Cioppino (Php 425), a dish that wasn't on the menu. It's a little like seafood paella meets pesto. Quite good actually. The basil component was quite pronounced, tempering whatever "fishy taste" the seafood pieces had. Speaking of seafood, the mussels, fish, shrimp, and squid were all firm and fresh.

Next on our table, pizza! We had the Truffled Mushroom Pizza (Php 450), another item that wasn't on the menu. Thin-crust pizza with lots of cheese, button mushrooms, Mushroom Chicharon, arugula, and hints of truffle flavor. We liked the pizza crust; it was fresh, thin, light, crisp. But we found the entire thing a tad salty. A milder type of cheese would make the pizza better tasting.

Now, for the meat dishes...

The US Roast Beef (Php 495): tender beef with bacon, smothered with gravy, nestling on fresh bread. The dish was teeming with meaty flavor. It was also not salty. It simply had good, charred, slightly smoky, beef flavor.

Lastly, the 4-Hour Cola Ribs (Php 420): fall-off-the-bone ribs with a tangy-sweet sauce. Another delicious dish. To say that the meat was tender and juicy would be an understatement. The sauce had the right balance of soda sweetness and acidity. Really tasty.

Price: Considering serving size, taste, and quality, we found the food just a little overpriced.

Service: REALLY good. The servers and managers were attentive and friendly. Good looking too! Special mention to Nielz, Jam, and Bella!

Chelsea Kitchen is at the atrium of Mega Fashion Hall.      

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Buttermilk Christmas Plate

It's the Christmas offering of Kenny Rogers Roasters.

The meal features the new Buttermilk Chicken, served with rice, a Puffin (another new treat, similar to a macaroon), and two side dishes, the Blueberry Pasta Salad and the Potato Gratin.

The new chicken variant is a fraud; it is NOT buttermilk. It is regular roast chicken that comes with a cheesy dip (similar to the sauce of their Mac & Cheese side dish). Cheese is NOT buttermilk! Sure, the chicken is juicy and well seasoned, and the dip is tasty, but, again, CHEESE IS NOT BUTTERMILK.

As for the side dishes, they're both delicious. Their flavors are authentic and their ingredients are of high quality.

The Puffin is OK, not bad. 

Try the "Buttermilk" Christmas Plate and judge for yourself.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

First bite: Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed with Oreo

It's a new holiday treat from Starbucks.

The long name of the cookie concoction says it all: a big chocolate chip cookie filled with an Oreo.

Is it good? Hmmm, it's O-K. If the chocolate chips were bitter and the cookie itself saltier, then the cookie would have a more balanced taste. It's a little too sweet.

A cookie costs Php 65.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Monday, November 3, 2014

First slice: Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

It's one of the new dessert items of Starbucks this holiday season.

Chocolate cheesecake covered with chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate rocks.

It's good. The cheesecake itself has a good marriage of tastes; the deep, slightly bitter chocolate blends with the sour hints of the cheese.  It also has the right amount of sweetness. Every bite is full of satisfying chocolate flavor.

The cheesecake also has good integrity.

A slice costs Php 110.

Try it and judge for yourself. 

First sip: Christmas Cookie Latte

It's the newest holiday drink from Starbucks.

According to the coffee chain, the drink is a "buttery creamy latte infused with shortbread cookie sauce, topped with whipped cream, shortbread cookie drizzle and butter cookie crumbles."

Is it good? Hmmm, not really. Why? It's too sweet, and the sweetness tempers the distinct butter beer and shortbread flavors. 

We tried a hot variant and a Frappuccino kind. The heat of the milk of our first drink thankfully tempered the sugary component. As for the Frap, yikes! Too saccharine.

A Tall order of the Christmas Cookie Latte Frappuccino costs Php 170.

Try it and judge for yourself.